Tanwater Park – Parishoners from Jahweh’s Church of Modern Day Interstellar Disciples gathered this morning at the foot of Tanwater Point to begin what they say will be their final pilgramage to the mountaintop. By this evening, if all goes well, they’ll be whisked off by the extraterrestrial “disciples” predicted by Jack Baker in the group’s de facto Bible, The Book of Jack.
Church members were understandably shy to be interviewed for this article, but we did speak with Gramps McCauley, the now-former owner of Gramp’s Antiques. McCauley made headlines recently when he recorded an increase in “alien chatter” that corresponded with revised predictions made by Jack scholars. Those scholars, most notably “Doc” Filbert Robbie of the Illiad Wellness Center, claim that the Mayans failed to account for leap year when they forecast the end of humanity. According Robbie, that pushes the widely-anticipated “End of Days” to 11:23pm on April 24th, 2009… which is tonight.
“It’s all right there in the book,” smiles McCauley, adjusting his backpack for what could be his final hike. “Jack told us the Disciples were coming and we’re here t’ greet ‘em!”
Of course if church members are correct, McCauley and crew will do more than greet them. Jack adherents believe that The Usherance, as the exodus is called, will see them transported to an alien Nirvana called Bakersville. There they’ll be united with their mentor, Jack Baker, and live in everlasting bliss while praying for the souls left behind.
But not everyone believes the predictions, especially in light of the group’s past pilgramages. “This is the fourth time they’ve done this since I’ve been here,” sneers Babs Stricklen, proprietor of the Pig in a Poke gift shop. “I think they’re just as nuts as that Jack character was when they locked him up in the Poor Farm. You know he was schizo, right?”
Others are more concilliatory. “What does it hurt to let them climb a mountain once in awhile?” clucks J.J. Turnbull. “They always come back, and that’s the main thing, isn’t it?”